tv Technology and Public Safety CSPAN October 19, 2014 10:30am-11:27am EDT
and democrats, their tur ever turnout, how they can target people down. and that's how president baraka obama won re-election. and so if they can do that, it could make a difference. i think there's a lot to overcome. what you are seeing, is unprecidented levels, and people are down and out about a lot of things. the economy, and all this unsettling news about ebola. and doesn't feel like, in talking to voters, that people are excited, about this election. and a lot of people, don't know. and so, they don't think it
matters, because nothing gets done. so, those operations for democrats to overcome, all of that, plus the trends of the mid-terms, and the older, whiter voters, who tend to favor the republican party. the polls don't show the ground game operation, and the difference, they underestimate the voter, that might come out. is that true in the past? has the ground game made the difference in the past? i think it did in 2012, and they were very wrong, and they had mitt romney winning states, and you saw it, and so, i think that does make me weary, that
when you have polls, and that, i tend to see that colorado, republicans have an advantage, and alaska. and i think, if democrats do win, i think we're going to question our whole polling model what about this gender gap and, how important it seems, in these states? she mentioned the female firewall. women are really, the folks that are keeping republicans at bay. we know that was the big republican wave election. so that's why, what they are doing, will be, this is a great
welcome. benjamin, i think this event will probably set the record, for the height kind of rent shal between guest and host. the director is not that short. so, i'm going to be very, very brief, because we have limited time, and the more i use, the less that we can use for dialogue between you guys and the director. director is here to talk about endescription and the problems it rights for law enforcement.
he has a different perspective, about the impact related to federal and state law enforcement. format is going to be very simple. he's going to give brief remarks, and i'm going to ask, move to a conversational format. and ask a few questions, and then go to you, and we'll use as much of the time as possible for questions, from the audience. when i do that, we're going to do that in a up as trying to do it, uninterrupted, so, please, just signal me, if you want to get in. and wait for the mike to come around, and introduce yourself by name and organization and keep questions, very brief.
i will turn it over to the director, welcome back. small difference, i'm going to adjust that mike. good morning. it's great to be here, and i'm told that i'm going to be the subject of a recorded podcast. which is a blog i read. so that's the real reason i'm here. what i want to do is share some thoughts, and our conversation together, thank you, for asking whatever is on your mind. i have been on this job for one year, and one month. sometimes i joke, as if i'm
incarcerated. and i have the best job. because i get to work with the f.b.i. over the last year, i confirmed, what i long believed. it's a remarkable place and, amazing people, and i also confirmed, that a commitment to the rule of law, is at the core of the f.b.i. i believe it is the organization's spine. but as you know, we confront serious threats, and i want to make sure that i have every lawful tool available. so, i see this as a opportunity, to begin a conversation, the investigative work we do. i want to talk about emerging technology. and within that context, it's very important to talk about the work we do, and what we need to do, the work that we've been
entrusted to do. there's misconceptions, about what we collect. and i think my job, is as best as i can, to clarify, where i can, the work of the f.b.i. and at the same time, i want to get a better handle on your thoughts. because those of us can't do what we need, and my goal is not to tell people what to do. my goal is to have them participate in a conversation as a country, about where we are. especially, with respect to law enforcement. and let me start, by taking about going dark. technology has changed the world. we're online, and one way or another, all day long, and
during the night, when we should be sleeping, and our phones, and computers have become reflectses of our personalities, and hold much of what is important to us. and with that, comes a desire to protect privacy, and we want to be able to share our lives with the people we choose, and i feel that way. and the f.b.i. has a sworn duty to keep every american safe. and technology has become a tool of choice for some very dangerous people. the law has not kept pace, and this has created significant public safety problems, as going dark. what it means, those charged with protecting our people, aren't able to access the evidence we need to prosecute
crime. we have the legal authority, to intercept and, access communications, pursuant to a court order, and lack the technical ability to do that. the first concerns realtime, court ordered data in motion. such as phonecalls or e-mails. or chat sessions, and the second challenge, concerns access to data stored. subpoena as email or photos or videos. data at rest, and both, and stored data are encrypted. and let me start by talking about interception, and then the challenges, posed by different means of communication. in the past, doing electronic surveillance was forward, identify the target,
and with a single count and, we got a court order, and we collected the evidence we needed. today, there are countless networks and means of communicating, and laptops, and phones, and tablets and, we take them to work and school. different networks. so, did those that want to harm us. they use the same thing to target victims, and to cover up what they're doing and that makes it very tough. if a criminal is in the car, and he switches from wi-fi, we may be out of luck. if he switches from one ap to another, or cell, we may lose him. and we may not have the capability to switch it, between
devices, and the bad guys know this. they're taking advantage of it. in the wake of the disclosures, the view is that the government is sweeping up all of our communications. that's in the true. the idea that the government has access to all communications, has extended to law enforcement, that is working to obtain individual warrants, and intercept the communications. some believe, the f.b.i., have these capabilities to access any information at any time. that is a product of too much television. i want people to understand, that law enforcement needs to be able to access communication, and information, in a lawful way. we do that, pursuant to the
rule of law, clear guidance. even with lawful authority, the going dark is, we may not be able to access the information that we need. current law, requires telecommunication carriers, and built them into their networks. but, that law, was enacted 20 years ago, a lifetime. and it doesn't cover new means of communication. thousands of companies provide some form of service, and most are not required to provide it to law enforcement. an order from a judge may amount to nothing but a piece of paper. some companies, don't comply. and they can't.
other wants to provide assistance, but they have to take the time to build it, which takes not just time but a lot of money. the issue is whether companies, not subject, should be required to build lawful enter september capabilities. we are not seeking to expand our authority, we are struggling to keep up, with changing technology, and maintain our ability to collect the communications. if the challenges of realtime data, threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption, threatens to lead us to attacker place. it is nothing new. but the challenge, is worse with recent default settings, and networks, all in the name of
increased security. with apple's new operating system, the information stored, on. i. phones will be encrypted. and shortly after it, google announced, plans. this means that the companies will not be able to unlock phones, and tablets to reveal information. the place that this is leading is, one we should not go. at the outset, the good folks at apple say, look, it's not that big of a deal, because law enforcement can get the data from the cloud.
they can still access the cloud. but, here's the problem. uploading to the cloud doesn't include all of the stored data, and first, which has the potential to create a black hole. if the bad guys don't back up their phones or opt-out, the data will only be found, on the devices themselves. and it's the people that are most worried, who will be most likely to avoid the cloud. and cannot access t. encrisp, will have very dire consequences. they'll on these means of
evading it. a safe that can't ever be cracked. and my question, at what cost? they say, you still have access to telephone records and, location information, and stored with the carriers, and that's true. but, it does not provide the contempts, and incomplete information, and difficult to access when time is of the essence. we don't have time. there is as misconception, that building it is all about building a backdoor, one that hackers could exploit. that's in the true. we are not seeking a backdoor approach. we want to use the
front-door. they will try to exploit, and we think it makes more sense, to address any security risks, to design it, rather than resorting to patchwork solutions. with encryption, there may be no solution at all. another misperception, but you could get the password. or break it. here's the truth. evening with a super computer, we would have difficulty, and they have a
setting, where it is erased after too many attempts to break the password. sometimes i heard folks ask this question. can't you just compel the owner to provide you the password? no. even if we could compel them, thurpg about the choice that that bad guy has to say make. a child predator, choosing between a 30-day concept sentence or a 30-year sentence for child pornography will think about your life without texting and, e. mailing. and i'm guessing you would feel
loss, and people, much cooler than i, calls this fear of missing out. missing out on predators, who exploit, violent criminals, and terror cells. the more, we rely on these devices, the more important they are, for reasons that i think make sense to you. we have seen case after case, homicides and drug trafficking, and child abuse, and exxoner rakes where it came from smart-phones, and hard drives. and.
they wanted to meet this supposed young girl. and he took this young boy, and murdered him, and then tried to alter evidence on his and the victim's cellphones. both phones were instrumental showing that he ends tiesed, the child. and in louisiana -- los angeles, police investigated the death of a girl, and there were no witnesses. text-messages, stored on her parents' cellphone, between the two of them, proved that the mother had caused the dead and that the father knew what was happening.
in kansas city, the dea, gated a drug organization, and homicide, and robberies, and got search warrants for the smart-phones. text-messages, that outlined, distribution and, tied that group to the supply of heroin. in sacramento, a young couple and, their four dogs, when a car ran a red light, and struck them. the driverred in, and that young guy died several days later. using red-light cameras, the highway patrol seized the smart phone and, the g.p.s. databased
the suspect, and showed that heed in. he was convicted, and serving a 25 years to life. lastly, i mentioned, ways to prosecute, it has been used to exsonnier rate innocent people. without access to the phone, or the ability to recover a deleted video, several young men could have been wrongly convicted. these are cases, that i pulled together, in which we had access to the evidence. and we're seeing more and more, where we believe significant evidence is on that phone or laptop, and we can't crack the password. homicide cases could be stalled, and suspects walk free. and justice may be denied, because after locked phone.
so, here are my thoughts about this. i am deeply concerned about it, i understand some of this thinking, but i believe it is mostly based on a failure to understand why, we do it. i hope you know that i'm a huge believer in the rule of law, and i believe, no one should be beyond the law. no law free zones. i like, that we need to follow the letter-of-the-law. but the notion that the marketplace could create something, that would prevent the closet from ever being open, when they obtain a court order makes so sense. i think it's time to ask. where are we? are we know longer a country, that is passionate about the rule of law, and no
zones, beyond the reach. have we become so distrustful that we are willing to let bad guys walk away. i know there will come a day, where it will matter to innocent people, that we cannot access certain types of information, with court authority. we have to have discussions about this. i believe that people should be skeptical of government power. i think this country was fonned by people who were, and you could not trust them, and they had 3 branches, and then they wrote a bill of rights, to in shfer that they are secure. but, the way i see it, the means by which we conduct surveillance, and internet or
telephone, is an example of a government operating the way of founders designed it. with the branches, overseeing legislation, pursuant to the rule of law. i suggest, that it is time that the direction of fear and mistrust and, have an honest debate. and some have suggested that there's a conflict, you have to give up a little bit of one, to get the other. i think, we're at our best, national security and public safety, we're looking to enhance security, and liberty. when a city puts police officers, on a dangerous may
ground. people in the f.b.i. are sworn to protect. so, where do we go? these are tough issues. finding the space and time to understand, is hard. and i'm so grateful for carving out some space. people can disagree. that's what's great about american life. smart people disagreeing. i have never been, anyone who is a scare monger, and i'm in a dangerous business. i want to discuss the impact of limiting the tools that, we use, and that we talk about what are the losses associated with our inability to collect information. we in the f.b.i., are going
to do everything that we can. and it takes time. and we'll workings to make sure, we can execute court authority and, we need to fix this problem. we understand the private sector's need to remain competitive. and it is not our intent to stifle enno vegas, and help them understand what we need and, how they can help. we need our private sector partners to take a step back, to
consider, i hope, a change of course, and a regulatory, and legislative fix. so, those of us inlaw enforcement, can continue to do the job, and in the way, you want us to do it. we need to make sure the american public understands, the work we do, and how. i really do believe we can get there. we can find a practical approach. and do it together. i don't have a perfect solution, but i think it's important to start the discussion. i'm very happy to work with congress, and our partners, and law enforcement, and with the people we serve to find the right answer. to find the balance that we need. so thank you for being here
today, and thank you for caring about these issues. [applause] you want to start, why now? people thought they were resolved 20 years ago. there's stresses and, they don't seem different and yet, this whole thing has been re-ignited. why? i think it is, a accumulation, another brick in the load of the going dark, that hit me. i got briefed, on our limitations, and i think a catalist, was, the announcement of the default encryption and i
thought, these are good folks, responding to a mc. and where are we doing it? so that energized me. you left government, i think, in 2003 -- 2005, and you were not in the and you had a sense of how light and dark things were. how different is it today, than it was, when you came back into government? dramatically darker, because of the number of non-traditional communication means. and different apes, and.
it has increased. so, you describe, in your remarks, that you wanted, not a backdoor, but a front-door, and i'm trying to understand, what that means, technically, to have an ability to descript with an order that does not create technical vulnerabilities, that others could exploit. a lot of people believe our own intelligence service says. what are you envisioning when you talk about building in a front-door? i don't think i'm smart enough to give you a highly reliable answer. anytime there's a door, there's a risk, that someone will try to get into the door. but if the door, is transparent, and designed not a
product, of chances of vulnerability being unseen are lowered. the best way to do it, is to build it in the front en. you're not talking about a revival of thes so idea from the mid-90s. and you're speaking more fanatically than that. correct. i like to see it written, so, they have an obligation to build a lawful intercept capability. so, on one of your minutes, you're more recent one --
every sunday night. [laughter] the, you were asked, whether all of these interceptions take place with a warren, and i was surprised, you said, that the f.b.i., does not do enter exceptions, without a warrant. and i can think of at least a few situations, in which, you got authorized without a warren. is there some policy that you don't do surveillance, without a warrant. were you incorporating, exceptions into your remarks. i gave an answer that i thought was fair and accurate. and people said, it was insufficiently, it should have been longer, and so, that's very
fair. it remains true, in the overwhelming number of our cases, we have court authority, but there are exceptions, to the warren requirement, the two, are important. consent, where someone gives us consernghts we can read the e-mails and listen to phonecalls. and second, where there is collection, on a non u.s. person overseas. if an american is communicating with that person, it will sit there, and my agents doing an investigation, will look at that, and read it. they don't go back to the court and, get authority for -- their look at it. but that's an exception.
we had this discussion in the 90s, it's a bad idea. and that, if you want things to be secure, you have to build security, not build other ways in. in the same 60 minutes, you said there are two types of american companies, they are being hacked, and those that don't know. southbound there a tension here between on the one hand the concerns about cyber security, and the ensis tense that we have to build in a certain layer of
insecurity. this comes back to what i said. it's about relative risk. there is much more risk associated with after the fact. and there is non zero risk, with building it in and risk, to society, by foregoing the ability to collect it. the risk mitigation, with building it at the front-end, and avoid -- avoidance, makes sense. let's go to you. we have a lot of questions. chris. when i call on you, please, wait for the mike, and please keep questions short.
frame them in the form after question. hi, my name is chris, over the last few years, weave learned that they have been hacked. and they were both hacked by the chinese and, microsoft was hacked. these are companies that invest vast sums, and whether you want to call it a front-door or backdoor, if the companies are dleferg communications, the only way to provide law enforcement is toes escrow a key and, whether they're inlaw enforce men or the company, people will try and steal them. last year, foreign policy ran an article, f.b.i. agents, backing a trash truck, and
stealing a minute, and the keys associated with t. so, given that you know, the keys can be stolen, and trying to steal their information, and we have multiple examples, being compromised, what gives you confidence that some small company, can build a secure interception system. i don't think that anybody, with complete confidence can build it, that's what i meant, the risk is non zero. when you aggregate the risks, and tradeoffs, don't make any sense.
you talk about enforcement side, and you mention the swing, and do you talk about the n.s.a. and others and, one of the things, that we learned, is that they found ways around encryption, by going into the communications between the surfers and, so forward. so when they make these announcements, clearly, they're trying to demonstrate to the germans or to the brazilians or
anybody else that there is no hole, that they have thrown away the key, so they could not do that. i haven't heard yet, from the administration, any kind of guarantee, that you created the kind of portal, that there would then be assurances, that they didn't do again, what it was disclosed to do it. tell us about the discussion, inside the administration. that's a good question. i don't think i am in a position to talk about discussions, inside the administration, and in my twelve months, has not been extensive. i guess i wouldn't tell you anyway. [laughter]
but, i -- i'm not trying to jump on the company. i understand the market. i worked for two companies. i get it. but, i think that, we can address their concerns, by being transparent, and here are the ways that the government can enter through to google's doors, and no one is going in here. director, thanks, i'm garrett mitchell, and i write "the mitchell report" and, slightly smaller circulation, and --
it is interesting to hear you, the chief executive officers, and the companies that are clearly at issue here, as being well-intentioned, and patriotic. i wonder, yet, they don't want to go where you want to go. i wonder if you could characterize, for us, the nature of the argument that they use, the logic, of their perspective? and as you said, one of the wonderful things, is that people can do that, and not so wonderful and, we get nowhere. and i would be curious, if you
could characterize, the point of view, logic, that those, the people that you're dealing with have. i don't want to talk about particular conversations, because i want to make sure that they are robust. maybe in general, i would draw to some of my remarks. they're responding to a mcimperative. and so, their competitors are using it against them. and they're trying to respond, no, that's not true, our stuff is protected. i get that. that makes sense for them. they're not responsible for the risks. so they're advocating a good
that we have. but, just like he said in his writings, and should a city have walls? we have an obligation to protect privacy, and to allow law enforcement to do its job. are you taking any steps, short of a law change, to try to put in systems, that will assure the american public, that we're going to do a better job. we have, that's a good question. the f.b.i. has a ton, file get any complaints, we have a lost policies, and that governs, their ability. and my response, i get your frustration, and i like it. i like the restraint. i look at the restrictions, on f.b.i. agents, to collect
evidence. and pretty darn exat any. extensive. joel, what can you tell us about the bureau's plan to update the statute? not much more than what i told you. hoping we can now start a dialogue with congress. there has been an effort, that got blown away, and i think now it's an opportunity to maybe stand in that wind, and have that conversation.
thank you. i'm here as a visiting fellow. when i was at the commerce department, was and went back-and-forth, about is of the reforms. a lot of thers, that have ben raised today were part of that discussion. i want to ask, one other, and as we deal with the explosion of data, and, there's also, the phenomenol, and i think, a widespread concern and, we're going bright.
there's digital information that's available to companies. into governments. a part of one of the issues, that we face, is, whatever we do, in addressing public policies, to deal with that data, is the impact on international. so, my question is, if some parallel, if we go don't this road, and take steps, that, would break the encrisps, what's the impact on repressing countries. i don't think, it's something that i have thought
about, but not well enough to give you an answer. that has to be part of the discussion. i heard that, okay, we can have transparency, what access is given, but that's a president for rejetstreams forgetting anything that they want. i read the newspapers, and i have a question, everything that i do, the whole day, i can see, everything that i do. everything that i do, in the whole day, i can see, and for
this kind of, contact. i have no idea. talk to somebody. that's not my job. i edited add book, building big brother, and maybe a little different, because i heard something, that you said, which was what is the cost? my question for you, back then, we didn't have any, serious cost benefit analysis sees, that people would say here are the tradeoffs. has your organization, made some analysis sees, not only economic, but social costs, and
law enforcement downsides and everything else. the answer is not to my knowledge. i have identified it, but not in any sense. director, would you acknowledge some of the distrust that you just spoke about, comes from the government not being fully truthful about what it was doing. the testimony in congress, and their own history. so, perhaps, the distrust comes from that. that may be part of the problem. before i give you a yes, i want to take apart your question i don't agree that, your
characterization of jim clapper. and i think a lot of it comes from, justifiable surprise, on the part of the u.s. people, as to the exstent, and nature of the surveillance. i believe very strongly, that they're elected representatives, add complete insight into it. i can understand. but, i also think, i have yet to see the rowing conduct, i see the government operating, with all three branches. and that doesn't mean that they aren't reacting and saying no. that, more than anything else, has fed to it. it makes sense to me. someone who doesn't live in
it. i appreciate it, now you got to know, and all the documents, and evidence, and many things. they don't give a response. do you think you can have three branches, and now, we are talking about a lot of surveillance and, people's email or something, has been hacked. so now, can you agree, based on that, who is us? email or accounts, and social